La Femme Nikita
“I really don’t have any fear. I feel that fear gets in the way of any kind of growth, so I kind a look at life like, ‘Well if you don’t step forward, or jump off the cliff, your never going fly. And if you step backwards, it’s always going to be there, so you might as well go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose, only to gain.” Peta Wilson
Australian-born, Papua New Guinea-raised model-turned-actress Peta Wilson gained worldwide fame while portraying the sexy super spy Nikita in the syndicated series “La Femme Nikita” from 1997-2001, where she received two Gemini nominations. She also appeared in such movies as Loser (1996), One of Our Own (1997), Mercy (2000), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003, with Sean Connery) and False Pretenses (2004, TV). The former model recently was featured as a flight attendant in the newest Superman series, Superman Returns (2006, starred Brandon Routh).
Outside the limelight, Peta is an avid supporter for several charitable foundations. She is currently running on founding a Julliard for disadvantaged children. The founder of a production company called Sweet Lick Productions also raises funds with her company named Psycht, which sells accessories like running shoes, sunglasses and watches. On more private note, the 5’ 10” actress likes such outdoor activities as horseback riding, scuba diving, swimming, playing cricket and gardening. She also enjoys panting, practicing yoga and meditating. As for her love life, Peta moved into a Los Angeles apartment with director-boyfriend Damian Harris shortly after her movement to America. After the tie broke up, she was romantically involved with actor Russell Crowe.
Childhood and Family:
Peta Gia Wilson was born on November 11, 1970, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Her father is Darcy Wilson, a retired warrant officer, and her mother is Karlene Whit, a caterer. Along with her brother Rob, the self-proclaimed “army brat,” Peta had to deal with frequent movements as a young due to her dad’s occupation before eventually settling in Papua New Guinea, where she grew up. As a teenager, the lively girl became highly involved in sports like swimming, sailing and basketball. She became the youngest woman on the national basketball team in Australia and was named Australian Champion Trailer Sailors, with her father and brother. A tomboy girl, Peta’s mother enrolled her in a manner course that led to a modeling career in Aussie and Europe. As for her education life, Peta attended an all-girls Catholic school in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. In 1991, she moved to America to study acting with Arthur Mendoza from The Actors Circle Theatre and Tom Waits at the Tom Kat Repertory Group.
“I was anorexic-bulimic when I was 16-17. It was a top secret that time, but these things always are.” Peta Wilson
While in Papua New Guinea, Peta Wilson lived without radio and TV and used to entertain her family by performing private shows with her brother. As she grew older, her mother sent this tomboy girl to behavior classes, in which she was discovered by an agent who offered her modeling career in Australia and later Europe. She modeled extensively for several years until suffering from eating disorder that led Peta to quit. In 1991, Peta relocated to Los Angeles to give acting a try.
After moving, 21-year-old Peta attended drama classes under the guidance of renowned couches Arthur Mendoza and Tom Waits. Her U.S. stage debut came with the Actors Circle Theater production of Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love,” followed by appearances in movies The Sadness of Sex and Naked Jane (both 1995). The next years, she had small roles in the independent film Loser and made-for-TV movies Woman Undone (1996, as receptionist) and Vanishing Point (1997, as motorcycle girl), as well as guest starred in “Strangers” and “Highlander” (both 1996).
However, Peta didn’t achieve major prominence until she won a lead in the Canadian-produced television action series “La Femme Nikita” (1997-2001), based on a Luc Besson Movie of the same name. Playing a French super spy Nikita with the codenamed of Josephine, she was nominated for Best Performance By An Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role in two Gemini. With the role, Peta also successfully launched the show as one of the most victorious series in America. As “La Femme Nikita” became a worldwide hit, it helped Peta acquire her international status.
During the four-year-successful stint, Peta also played Cpl. Jennifer Vaughn in the indie One of Our Own (1997), made a cameo appearance in Raw is War (1997), teamed up with her then-boyfriend/director Damian Harris in thriller Mercy (2000, opposite Ellen Barkin and Wendy Crewson) and tuned in the supporting role of Harriet Stone in Other People (2001, TV). Also in 2001, she was seen in a smaller project, the mini “A Girl Thing,” where she was cast as Alex.
After the syndicated show came to an end in 2001, Peta costarred with Leonard Roberts and Til Schweiger in the sport-themed Joe and Max (2002, TV), found herself acting with Sean Connery in the sci-fi film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003, as vampire Mina Harker) and was cast opposite Stewart Bick in the starring role of Dianne in the thriller False Pretenses (2004, TV). She next had a recurring role as Aly in two episodes of “Jonny Zero” (2005) and made a guest turn as Mischa Sparkle in an episode of “Two Twisted” (2006). Peta returned to big screen in 2006 with a small part as flight attendant Bobbie Faye in the Brandon Routh Superman Returns, for director Bryan Singer.